Updates

New album notes from Rupert Hine

Peter Gabriel

In many ways – this very track is the originator of the second volume of Art of Peace. Peter had suggested it as his offering for Volume 1, but the ensuing tracking-down of relevent audio files proved too taxing for a 3-month project. So six years later I picked up the threads again and progress was finally made culminating in this very different version of Signal to Noise (Cut in Edit). It is made up of different final mix elements (all mixed by Tchad Blake) and had been a close contender for the album mix but not enough to make ‘the final cut’ at the time. A triumphant end to our rewarding project. Thank you Peter.

Guy Garvey /Elbow

Bob Geldof pinged me mid-afternoon back in Feb this year saying that he was off to see Elbow that night at the London Apollo and had an unexpected spare ticket, did I want to join? I’d never seen them live, so jumped in and went to see an individual, albeit within a band, who Bob simply described as Britain’s best lyricist. That was at the London Apollo. Bob and I chatted with the relaxed & affable Guy Garvey before the gig. I asked Guy if he might be interested in contributing to a celebratory collection of songs to present The Dalai Lama on his 80th birthday, to which he said an emphatic yes. The eventual suggestion became a live recording from the night before we saw them – at the Manchester Apollo of the magnificent Lippy Kids.

Sting

I had asked Sting back in 2008 if he would join in with the initial Art of Peace album designed to coincide with the Beijing Olympic Games and we ended up re-working Send your Love from his Sacred Love album with the amazing Jorge Strunz. I’d always felt that The Book of My Life was the hidden gem tucked away on that same album and suggested we tried a more ‘groove’-orientated approach to a new re-mix. It is such a beautiful melody with an elegantIy pure lyric. I also love the sitar-playing of Anouska Shankar.

Kate Bush

Kate had really wanted to come up with something unique for The Dalai Lama 80th, but time was slipping away. Set so appropriately in the Himalayas – Stephen Tayler’s treatment of the full-length mix from the Snow album relies more on psychoacoustics and sonic-processing releasing fresh harmonic information in an ear-tingly and subtle way. An absolute delight.

Duncan Sheik

Duncan is the only other artist other than Sting to have contributed on both this and the first Art of Peace album. I should stress that that was not an executive decision of any kind simply a matter of coincidence and conversation. Duncan’s oeuvre, like Sting’s often reflects matters akin to the ideology behind the The Dalai Lama. “Sometimes" is such a natural balance between lyrical simplicity and saying much. For me this is also a welcome return to the electronic influences of earlier work but always ‘glued’ to a deep melodic sensibility. This track will appear on Duncan’s forthcoming album later in the year. Thank you Duncan for allowing us a sneak preview.

Of Monsters & Men

Probably the earliest ‘ask’ for this project was when Michael Wohl, the Founder of The Art of Peace Foundation, attended a Of Monsters & Men concert in his home State and befriended the manager inviting their involvement. Some 3 years later they kept their word and the gorgeous King & Lionheart appears here and features equally the vocal colours of both their prime voices. We’re so happy they are on this album.

Howard Jones

I was lucky enough to have produced most of Howard’s early works in the 80s including the original version of this song. Howard’s piano (and mood) version included here is a great example how a well-written song can not only bear such a different ‘take’ on it’s performance but continue to reveal more of the song’s sub-text by so-doing. Thank you Howard for the little gem.

Beyond

Having written arranged & produced many songs for Tina Turner in the 80s / 90s, I have been intrigued to discover her current work with a quartet of artists from different cultures and faiths that explore the universality of their musicality and ideologies. This remix is an experiment in emphasizing the rhythmic side of a strongly harmonic and enchantingly melodic body of work as Beyond. I am moved to thank them for the invitation to take one of their special tracks and be wide-eyed and inclusive of such fresh input. Their association with The Dalai Lama goes back beyond the Art of Peace project and Dechen Shak-Dagsay serves to represent Tibet and its rich musical heritage on a collection dedicated to His Holiness.

Lorde

It had occurred to me soon after Lorde’s unique album appeared out of nowhere barely two years ago, that there was a parallel to another young teenager’s sudden arrival as a meaningful writer-artist some 40 years before…. in Kate Bush. I desperately wanted that moment to happen on The Art of Peace as it became symbolic to me in terms of The Dalai Lama’s wish to bridge generations.

Eleanor McEvoy
When your first ‘noticeable’ song in life becomes the flagship song and single for the biggest-selling album of all time in your own country, you’re blessed with a springboard and millstone at the same time. I had the great pleasure of producing Eleanor’s wonderful Snapshots album right around the turn-of-the-century. This track Deliver Me has Eleanor in full swing’. Her humour intact and digs in the our ribs make this a welcome flavour for a balanced Art of Peace meal.

Rival Sons

Having this year seen the band play live a couple of times on the European tours I have seen the full weight of their musicality and power topped by amazing vocal performances from Jay Buchanan. All of which cannot help but remind you of Led Zep in their prime. Having said that, their take on New Rock is still very much theirs and this track is a very welcome inclusion to our collection. Don’t miss them live!

The Family Crest
What an amazing young band built around the undeniable talents of Liam McCormick, this track is a glimpse into what is coming next from this impressive ‘collective’ from California. Their vision is vast – as is the breadth of their sound and depth of their arrangements. A scale uncommon outside of the world of classical music and opera.

Bob Geldof
I have ben fortunate enough to have produce all three solo albums following the Boomtown Rats work (and Live Aid). You never know what to expect from the always fertile and often rampant mind of Geldof in music mode. What I love about this track is that it is Bob at his understated best, cooly letting us know what’s goin on, with the aid of his regular sidekicks, essentially improvising in the way that Bob loves – just keeping it fresh so it’s different every time. Classic BG.

The Crystal Method
I have two great loves in the world we now call EDM…. In the UK – Underworld and in the US – The Crystal Method. I was lucky enough to get the former on the first Art of Peace album and now the second on this! With the added bonus of Meiko on vocals… and how delightful that combination. Meiko’s voice hangs in the mix like a shaft of dusty sun-light caught in the rays of early morning.

Ed Prosek
I discovered Ed through a friend who thought I might really appreciate his songwriting skills which I certainly do. In tandem with his voice however and you have a remarkable combination destined for a expansive audience. Ed weds ideas for strings along with the initial writing and that skill leads to some of the most integrated and homogenous arrangements you’ll hear in singer-songwriter world.

New Artists Added: Lorde, The Crystal Method, Of Monsters And Men + More!

The list of incredible artists featured on The Art Of Peace: Songs For Tibet II continues to grow (see names and pics below):

Lorde
Rival Sons
Duncan Sheik
Of Monsters And Men
The Crystal Method
Rupert Hine
Beyond (feat. Regula Curti, Dechen Shak-Dagsay, Sawani Shende-Sathaye & Tina Turner)
Eleanor McEvoy
Ed Prosek

Stay tuned for a final track listing!

-- The Art of Peace Foundation

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Lorde

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Rival Sons

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Duncan Sheik

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Of Monsters And Men

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The Crystal Method

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Rupert Hine

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Beyond

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Eleanor McEvoy

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Ed Prosek

Notes from Rupert Hine

RUPERT’S NOTES:

Notes from the Musical Director and Producer of The Art of Peace album, Rupert Hine:

In 2008, I was approached by the Executive Director of the Art of Peace Foundation. He wanted to produce an album as a gift to the people of Tibet and the Dalai Lama. He asked if I thought it might be possible to ask interesting and interested artists to contribute unreleased versions of songs both notable and obscure in the name of Peace – as manifested by The Dalai Lama’s perspective through compassion and non-violence. In principle my reaction was an immediate yes as His Holiness has a galvanising persona that transcends nationality and religious settings.

Just as I was starting to allocate the potential time it would take to track down artists, their managers, their labels, their publishers etc etc…. I was told that the one immovable aspect of the project was that it had to released to coincide with the opening day of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. That was 100 days (exactly) from the day of asking.

So 3 months from germ to full bloom to most seemed absurd. To me it just seemed like a helluva challenge! So we started building…. (as my Mother used to say – “there’s no such thing as ‘can’t”)….

The result was a double-album that ended up being the 3rd most downloaded album on global iTunes at that time.

Seed-planting

So fast forward a few years (2012) and the same gentleman, Michael Wohl, called a casual meeting in NY to ask me if I thought we could try another record that, this time, could be tied into The Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday in the Summer of 2015. He was really excited that, unlike before, we would have a 2 1/2 year build up to ensure everyone had more than enough time to dream up any kind of creative contribution. No more 100-day-panics!

Of course the music business had changed in a few short years. No-one has any time any more. Without the revenue from recordings, artists are forced to keep gigging to pay the rent. Therefore there’s little time to write, arrange and record new works (that won’t actually make any money even if completed).

So this fabulous ‘lead-time’ was completely ignored – bypassed by comments such as “call us back in 18 months time and we’ll see if we’re still alive!”
I kept dropping in on some of my first choices and it just depended on where they were with their lives – whether they were actually up for it or not. Completely changeable as they oscillated between a positive mood with lots happening that created confidence and therefore creativity – but couple to times of great pressure buried under mountains of creativity-sapping ‘stuff’.

In short, with just 5 months left of the original 30, possibilities and potential clarified – and what seemed like minutes later I had (guess what) 100 days again to pull it all together! Particularly peculiar, given the very different global and musical landscape!

Energy ignites

Back in 2008 Peter Gabriel had tried to find the time to excavate deep into his vaults – as there was this feeling, originally instigated by a comment from renowned A & R man / eclectic Record Producer Tony Berg re Peter’s song "Signal-to-Noise”. It was a particularly unique view on the mix by the always original Tchad Blake. It had been a puzzle that beat us at that time. But 6 years later I resurfaced into Peter’s view asking whether we might pick-up the pieces and resolve the detection.
We did and that track became the trigger for a call-to-action for everyone.

Bob Geldof asked me out-of-the-blue if I wanted to join him to see Elbow play The Apollo in Hammersmith after which Guy Garvey said he’d love to contribute a gift to The Dalai Lama – man of his word as we took ownership of a fabulous live version of “Lippy Kids” that has the audience participating in that familial way that often accompanies Britain’s finest contemporary lyricist.

The momentum rolled on as Sting graciously agreed to a second appearance within the worlds of Art of Peace. Tucked away on the same album as Send Your Love (which had been the subject of a very different remix angle hinged around Jorge Strunz and his amazing flamenco guitar), This time around I had become obsessed wih the staggeringly beautiful track “The Book of My Life”.
A more groove-orientated re-mix that also emphasised the extraordinarily haunting text..We were off – up and running. Two absolute icons and, in Elbow, Britain’s biggest band.

I fell for Imagine Dragons at Gastonbury 2014 – simple, uncluttered but singularly powerful. The band responded immediately to the call.

Duncan Sheik’s most welcome return to an electronic interpretation of his essentially intimate acoustic guitar-driven songs provided another clear marker.

The built-in majesty of The Family Cresthas just swallowed me whole. Liam McCormick’s vision is spectacular. From a 7-piece to a 120-piece – the expandable orchestra accommodates Liam’s wildest imagination. “Sparks’ is a brand new composition.